Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reds have Gained by Doing Nothing

Scroll through the off-season transactions list on the MLB website and you won't likely find the Reds on there much, if at all. As a matter of fact, the team has been about as active lately as a box of lava rocks.

But despite their unwillingness to pull the trigger on any sort of deal, they still continue to win without making a single move. How so you ask? Let me give you five reasons the club has gained by doing nothing:

5) The King Cardinal has fled the nest
-Reds pitchers, along with the rest of the NL Central hurlers, can all sleep a little easier at night knowing they won't have to face Albert Pujols (much) anymore. This courtesy of the LA Angels for luring the slugger away from St. Louis for a thrifty $254 million dollars...over 10 years. Removing Pujols from the division clears a major hurdle between Cincy and a division title in 2012.

4) Hebrew Hammer out of service?

Milwaukee's misfortune with Braun
may be a blessing for Cincy
-The news of Ryan Braun's positive PED test is both surprising and a bit disappointing to baseball lovers. However, if a 50 game suspension is truly in the works for the reigning league MVP, it's a major blow to one of the teams competing with the Reds for the top spot in the Central. As with Pujols, not having to deal with Braun for a while can only be a plus for Dusty Baker's squad.

3) Prince dethroned in Milwaukee?
-Although nothing is official yet, all indications are that Prince Fielder will not be donning a Brewers uniform in '12. While the Cubbies appear to be the favorite to land him at this point, I don't see them being a serious threat to win the division title...even with Prince. And should Fielder sign with a team outside the Central division? Well, that would be even better with respect to the Reds' postseason hopes.

2) No bad contract decisions, yet
-The team had an option to bring back closer Francisco Cordero for next season at a cost of $12 million. Wisely, they declined. They've also been working tediously and carefully on Brandon Phillips' contract extension. And with the incredible depth they currently enjoy at catcher, letting Ramon Hernandez walk in free agency doesn't seem like such a bad move either. All told, at least they haven't been handing out contracts they'll potentially regret in the long run (cough, cough...Miami Marlins).

1) Astros set to take off
-In a move that was long over-due, MLB announced last month that Houston will be moving to the AL West Division beginning in 2013. This cuts the number of teams in the NL Central to five, down from its current number of six. So what's that mean for the Redlegs? I'm no math expert, but I believe it means they have fewer teams to compete with for the division crown on a yearly basis. And of all the gains the Reds have accumulated by doing nothing recently, this may be the greatest of them all...especially over the long-term.

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